I'm Andrew. I write about the past and future of tech, music, media, culture, art, and activism. This is my blog.

Counter-Culture Book Club

Posted: November 9, 2016

America just elected Donald Trump as president, and that has the potential to be very bad for a lot of people. Trump is unpredictable. He’s actively misogynistic, racist, and generally bigoted. He’s dangerous. And now he can know everything about you.


So, what are we going to do about it? I, for one, am going to start a book club.

Lots of people who are a lot smarter than I am have been writing about this eventuality for a long time. From older works like Brave New World, and 1984, to newer pieces like The Hunger Games, Humanity has been obsessed with cataloging all the ways that our government could end up being horrible and oppressive.

We study many of these works in school, and there are plenty of lessons to be taken from these cautionary tales. Unfortunately, it may be too late for most of those. We’re too far in to the worlds of Huxley and Orwell for their warnings to be as effective as they should have been. There is plenty to study here, but little of it is practical. We need a plan, a blueprint that will show us the path away from here.

Thankfully, there are a handful of great works of fiction that deal with the functional, practical, subversive actions of individuals in the early stages of tyranny. Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother is a prime example, and it’s a free download from his website. So I’ll be starting there.

It is my intent to study these works, discuss the parts of them that are most practical, and the parts that are least practical. I want to establish an understanding of the stakes, and of our available options.

I want you to join me. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be re-reading Little Brother, and discussing the points found within on my Newsletter.

I will host live chats and discussion forums, give demonstrations of practical cryptography, and work with other like minded people to create change. When we finish Little Brother, we’ll move on to further works of subversive literature (such as Doctorow’s Homeland, Lawful Interception, or For the Win, for example) and, as we do, we’ll turn from discussion to action.

Today is a scary day, but all is not lost.

Join me in finding the way forward.

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